Every year, 20,000 chefs leave the profession, according to the Centre for London think tank.
The above statistic is partly due to unspecialised and low profile culinary education in the capital. To prevent the chefs that you train from also leaving the profession, you need to provide high quality, streamlined continuing professional development (CPD) for them.
If you organise and/or provide CPD for chefs, read below as we detail how this area is changing.
Any Changes to the FHRS?
The FHRS is the food hygiene rating scheme. It’s important in CPD for chefs because CPD needs to help chefs understand what’s needed to achieve a high FHRS rating.
Today, consumers and food businesses are both largely positive about the FHRS. However, knowledge about FHRS is quite mixed; some companies don’t understand the scheme, how often inspections happen, or how to get a top rating, and some don’t even know that they’re in the scheme at all. Therefore, the Food Standards Agency reports that there needs to be more country-wide assurance for chefs to be made aware of FHRS. Additionally, they stated that “the regulatory regime needs to be flexible and responsive and able to keep pace with rapid change”. That’s why they emphasise their Regulating Our Future (ROF) programme to alter food regulation to be focused more on business level controls than at individual outlets. They state that Primary Authority National Inspection Strategies will likely affect the FHRS, by changing how local authority intervene with businesses and give them ratings.
Therefore, overall, CPD for chefs should undergo some altering in the next few years to allow chefs to comply with new guidelines and inspection requirements, and most importantly to ensure that chefs all over the country understand these requirements.
Furthermore, with the impact of Coronavirus, we believe that hygienic food preparation practices will be the biggest focus of these requirements.
CPD Conferences For Chefs
We’re seeing more of a demand for CPD in the chef industry, partly because chefs wish to better understand the regulations in their industry. In January 2021, The Chef’s Forum hosted their first CPD virtual conference due to “exceptional” interest from colleges and industry.
Catherine Farinha, Founder of The Chef’s Forum, stated that CPD’s incredibly important right now as it can increase job satisfaction, enhance chefs’ CV and value, lead to new opportunities, support career progression and provide chefs with the confidence to pursue more senior roles. Therefore, especially when hospitality workers have struggled this year, chefs are eager to be given high quality CPD.
Financial Accumency in CPD For Chefs
It’s believed that CPD for chefs will have more of a focus on financial accumency. This is because Chris Galvin, a chef and entrepeneur holding one of the sessions at the aforementioned CPD conference, stated that “a critical link is missing with basic financial acumen”, and young chefs today know generally about food and restaurants without understanding the basics of how these things are afforded. Especially in Coronavirus times, modern restaurants have to be very financially efficient to not go under, and managers may not have time to teach these fundamentals to young chefs, who therefore struggle. Hence, one of the topics in the conference was business studies for culinary students.
Therefore, CPD for chefs needs to teach financial fundamentals and proficiency. We expect this to have more of a focus in future years.
Sustainable Cooking Practices in CPD
In the aforementioned CPD conference for chefs, there was a focus on how chefs can make their work more sustainable. For instance, some of the subjects discussed were ethical and sustainable cooking, and demonstrating the versatility of sustainably sourced macadamie.
Furthermore, Neil Rippington, a chef and educator developing the conference, stated that lecturers need to stop seeing CPD as a box-ticking exercise for HR departments or Ofsted Inspections. Therefore, we believe that the chef industry will become more socially responsible due to CPD, and CPD will be focused on how chefs can use resources thoughtfully, as opposed to just training them in theory for the sake of it.
CPD For Chefs: Focus on Hygiene and Safety
Largely because of COVID-19, CPD for chefs has more of a focus on hygienic and safe food preparation practices. This has always been a focus, but it will no doubt be one of the areas that is most strictly reviewed before new CPD programmes for chefs are released. As hygiene and safety standards for food are regularly updated, chefs need to keep up to date with how COVID-19 may affect their practices.
If you provide CPD for chefs, you should continue to keep an eye on changes to FHRS and other hygiene and safety guidelines for chefs, to ensure that all of your educational information is kept relevant and accurate. With approximately 2.4 million foodborne illness cases occuring every year in the UK, CPD for chefs is not an area that should be overlooked now or in the future.